Back to Port Denarau
Pos 17:46.37S 177:22.99E
Off we set on the last leg of the trip to return to Port Denarau, running between great lengths of reef that funnel us along it and the shore line. We pass the mining company jetty but see only large rusting storage tanks on the shore so we’re none the wiser as to what it is they mine.
Then we come up to the major town of Lautoka, styled as the sugar capital of Fiji and home to a massive processing plant working at full bore, as this is the cutting season Consequently the hills are ablaze with fires set before cutting the cane, which shroud the island in palls of smoke that reach up to the cloud base.
On the shoreline we spot one of the cane railway trains that traverse the fields pulling a full load of trucks and stacked high with sugar cane, heading for the factory.
Sugar cane train
As we get closer we spot the three master schooner we last saw off the Blue Lagoon resort in amongst the other yachts presumably waiting to clear out of Fijian waters, as this is one of the exit points.
Passing the container dock and the gigantic loading chutes of the wood chip factory we can see the sugar mill behind. On one of the large mooring is the Mystique Princess in definite need of some TLC while in the dock is a forlorn sight of a sunken tour boat.
Low maintenance Zero maintenance
Lunch times approaching so we look for a likely swimming hole and spot a beach with several yachts already anchored. So heading into the bay we anchor off a suitable reef and don our gear. Shân decides to give it a miss and make lunch as the water looks “mangrovy” green.
Banana and Papaya for lunch.
She made the right decision and we return after half and hour disappointed by a dead reef, lack of fish and visibility down to a metre!
We’ve plenty of time so we take a long break before resuming our trip to arrive in Port Denarau around four thirty and note lots of new super yachts have arrived since our last visit.
As we look for our berth a figure is running up and down the pontoon, can this be the elusive Jonathan? ‘Speedy One’ appears to guide us next to a gleaming super yacht making our mast look like a toothpick and us a tender to him! Who said size isn’t everything!!
The elusive Jonathan.
All tied up Jonathan finally joins us and its beers all round.
That evening we dine ashore and watch the All Black kick the stuffing out of the Aussies yet again before returning for night caps. On the way we are tempted by the music coming from one of the bar restaurants and order brandies. Two well oiled youngish Ozzie ladies are gyrating on the floor with more enthusiasm than style, but never mind, Shân decides to join them and bring a bit culture to the whole proceedings.
This is too much for Lars who leaps up and joins in, followed by two inscrutable Chinamen. It was all getting a bit out of hand, worst still I didn’t have my camera.
Its would be nice to say that common sense took over and returned the errant dancers to the table but I think the alcohol and age had something to do with it as we extracted ourselves from the reverie and return to the yacht.
More enthusiasm for nightcaps from Shân, I knew it would end in tears. Some slurps or two latter she declared she had to go to bye byes and staggered her way below. The new youth, Jonathan who has a stud record to rival others we have known decides to head back into the fray, disappearing into the night.
Peace descends and so to bed.
Bob the Blog